Ohio Women’s Basketball Wins Home Opener< < Back to
In a contest that was in question until the final buzzer, Ohio University defeated High Point University, 64-61.
The Bobcats struggled to shoot efficiently from the field, collectively going 24-68 (35.3%), including hitting only 7 of their 34 three-point attempts. Additionally, Ohio shot just 50% from the free throw line, connecting on 9 of their 18 freebies. Ohio Head Coach Bob Boldon credited High Point’s defensive schemes as part of the reason for his team’s struggles.
“I thought High Point did a nice job. They mixed up how they guarded us. They gave us almost a match-up [zone] look. These are things that are tough to play against early in the season,” Boldon said.
While High Point’s defense cause low shooting percentages, Ohio’s defense excelled in other areas. The Bobcats forced the Panthers into a whopping 30 turnovers, 16 of which were steals, which Ohio turned into 25 points. The extra possessions aided Ohio mightily in a game in which they lost the rebounding battle 49-36 and shot sub-40 percent from the field.
The close victory is sure to boost the confidence of a young Bobcat team, which saw two freshmen receive their first minutes, and two sophomores, Amani Burke and Katie Barker, start the game. Coach Boldon emphasized such inexperience from his team and the potential growth from it.
“It’s [Burke’s] first start, there’s three other kids who made their first start tonight, there’s two kids who made their first college game ever tonight, and getting through that kind of stuff is part of the experience and I think all of them will be better tomorrow, and I think all of them will be better on Thursday when we play again,” Boldon said.
Yet it was those same underclassmen who in large part facilitated a Bobcats win, with Burke scoring 18 points and freshman Gabby Burris adding 14 points and 7 rebounds, 4 of which were offensive. Burris especially drew the praise of her coach.
“I thought Gabby really did the things we expected Gabby to do. She’s always been a tireless worker, her work on the boards was tremendous,” Boldon said.
The team, inexperienced as they are, kept calm and collected every time High Point threatened to swing momentum their way, a trait Burke accredited to the team’s mindset and togetherness.
“We just had grit. We came together, and it’s easy to just lay down when you mess up but I think with us we know that we’re never going to be the bigger team, we’re never going to be the quickest team, but we just play hard. We play together and we keep to our principles and that’s how we won,” said Burke.
Moving forward, the Bobcats (1-0) will continue their homestand against Notre Dame (OH) on Thursday, November 16, while High Point (0-1) will continue their road trip in a game against Duke on the same day.